The Collier County Impact Fee Assistance Program should be scrapped, too. Why not just allow Arthrex, Inc., to expand without any impact fees? According to Tammie Nemecek, the CEO of the Collier County Economic Development Council, the county can not waive impact fees. Yet, waiving impact fees would really encourage business growth in Collier County. Although the county can not waive, it can move impact fee assistance around from general revenue fund to another fund to cover the application’s impact fees. This way no money changes hands, and a lien is placed on the improved property. But what’s the catch on the lien? And here’s the story.
Collier County wanted to incentivize Arthrex to expand its operations in Ave Maria and North Naples, Florida, through the property tax stimulus program, one of President Obama’s innovative creations.
But some Collier citizen brought to the attention of the county that state law requires that there be a voter referendum before the county could give economic incentives as tax breaks to businesses who want to expand locally or relocate into Collier County – such unnecessary over regulation by state law in the first place to control business growth in a municipality.
The Collier citizen happens to be Tim Nance who is running against Commissioner Jim Coletta for the District 5 seat, including Ave Maria. Nance proposed to put the issue to referendum on the 2012 ballot.
However, this is too much politics and unnecessary delay for Arthrex’ general counsel, Scott Price, who finds that waiting was an unintended outcome for Arthrex, and the company would rather bid for impact fee assistance instead. Commissioner Georgia Hiller conjectured that Arthrex’ lawyers did some research to come to this decision and may have found Tim Nance’s conclusion correct that the county ordinance rebating property taxes is unconstitutional.
Arthrex has revised its application to also include the job incentive program which provides $2,000 for every job created and $25,000 for broadband installation, which amounts to a total credit of $3.3 million.
Arthrex received donated 21-acre land from Barron Collier Cos. and plans to invest $17 million, not including equipment, to build a 160,000 square foot manufacturing plant on Oil Well Road at Ave Maria. The other project is a 100,000 square foot renovation or expansion at Creekside costing $10 million.
The Collier County Commission will vote on Arthrex’ revised application on June 28.